Over the last 6 months, I have become quite the bike rider. I say “bike rider” and not “cyclist” for the same reason I say “I run” but I am not “a runner.” I do not want to group myself with those who take these forms of exercise more seriously than I do..or are better at it for that matter. I am no expert at running or cycling… I just try to do by best, enjoy the activity, and become proficient in the skills needed to perform the tasks.
Enough on that..now back to my original point. After receiving a bike for Christmas from my family, I have gradually learned some basics of riding and really enjoy my early morning treks through the surrounding neighborhoods. In the early mornings, no traffic, no noise…just me and my thoughts. It is a time to organize my days, think through things…pray.
Sometimes as I am working things out in my mind…well, stuff happens.
For instance, this morning I was peddling at a good pace, planning my day, when all of a sudden I got tired. Not tired, I guess, just slower. It became very difficult to peddle, my legs started to burn. And that’s when I realized I had a flat tire. Not at all concerned, for I knew my husband had equipped my bike with a pump, I climbed off and set to work to inflate the tire..only to discover that my brief tutorial on pumping a tire was not sufficient for proficiency in the skill.
Life Lesson: It is not enough to know what we should do when the unexpected happens in our life, but we must be practiced in doing it! When we are deflated by discouragement, discontentment, or anything that seeks to slow our forward movement through life, we may know what tools are available to us: Christian accountability and fellowship, Bible Study, and prayer, but if we are unpracticed in using these tools, we find their mere existence insufficient to meet our needs. As I sat their futilely attempting to make something work that was completely foreign to me, I wished that I had spent more time not just watching my husband pump the tires, but actually using the pump myself!
It is not enough to watch others pray (or ask them to pray for us), listen to how other people have studied the Bible and what it did for them, or have an accountability group but do not meet. We must practice prayer, study, meeting together in fellowship and accountability so that when we are sidelined, slowed down, deflated by life’s circumstances, we can use the tools God has given us to “inflate” our hearts with the Holy Spirit and, once again, continue moving forward on our path, our journey, our ride of life!
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24)
“be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24)
“[ The Fellowship of the Believers ] They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” (Acts 2:42)
“for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” (Philipians 1:19)
“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oilin the name of the Lord.” (James 5:13-14)
“David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you.” (1 Chronicles 28:20a)